Legislative Bill on “Bases and Starting Points for the Freedom of Argentinians”: Amendments to the National Administrative Procedure Law

Legal News - December 28, 2023

On December 27, 2023, the National Executive Power (“NEP”) submitted to the National Congress the Legislative Bill entitled “Bases and Starting Points for the Freedom of Argentinians” (the “Bill”). The full text of the Bill is available at the following link.

The Bill proposes various amendments to the National Administrative Procedure Law No. 19,549 (“NAPL”).

We highlight below the most relevant amendments:

  • The Bill clarifies that the NAPL will apply to both the centralized and decentralized administration, as well as to other branches of the State (Legislative, Judicial, and Public Ministry) when exercising administrative functions. It will also be supplementary to non-state public entities and individuals, and to private entities when exercising public powers granted by national laws, but it will not apply to companies in which the State holds a stake.
  • The principle of “bureaucratic efficiency” is introduced, implying that the interested party is not required to provide documents prepared by the Administration.
  • A maximum resolution period of sixty (60) days by the Administration is set.
  • It is clarified that the filing of an administrative claim or appeal, or of a judicial action or appeal, interrupts all deadlines, including expiration and prescription ones. This interruptive effect remains until the administrative act or judicial decision becomes final, with the sole exception of administrative sanctions, which become enforceable once applied by the competent authority.
  • The Bill mandates a public consultation procedure in cases where the law requires user and consumer participation in tariff and public service regulation matters. However, the regulatory authority may opt for a non-binding public hearing when justified by reasons of economy, simplicity, and speed.
  • Regarding the negative silence system, the need to file a prompt dispatch once the Administration’s resolution period has elapsed is eliminated. The Bill considers that the negative silence occurs after the expiration of the resolution period – or a residual period of 60 days – without the Administration’s response.
  • A positive silence system is introduced, implying administrative consent when the Administration does not respond within the stipulated period. However, this system will not be applicable to certain areas such as public health, environment, public services, or rights over public domain assets.
  • The deadline for filing administrative appeals that exhaust the administrative route shall not be less than thirty (30) days from valid notification of the challenged act; this period extends to sixty (60) days if the interested party was not given an opportunity to participate in the procedure before the act’s issuance. Additionally, after twenty (20) days of such filing, the interested party may deem it denied by silence without filing prompt dispatch, regardless of its status, and proceed to judicial proceedings.
  • For administrative acts issued during contracts with the National State, if contested within thirty (30) days of notification, they can be judicially challenged up to one hundred eighty (180) days after the contract’s termination, subject to applicable prescription rules.
  • The limitation period to sue the State is extended from ninety (90) to one hundred eighty (180) judicial business days.
  • A single deadline of thirty (30) days is established for filing a judicial action if the act needs to be challenged in court by appeal. Any provisions setting shorter deadlines are repealed. Additionally, the administrative body to which the judicial appeal is presented cannot reject its admissibility and must forward it to the court. Sanctions imposed by the administration need not be met for the appeal’s admissibility.
  • Generally, the prior administrative claim system is maintained, including its exceptions. In line with the extension of the limitation period to sue the State, this institute also establishes that the judicial claim must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) judicial business days after the express denial is notified or, if applicable, after the express denial of the administrative appeal filed against it.

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact:

Ignacio Minorini Lima: ignacio.minorini.lima@bruchoufunes.com

Juan A. Zocca: juan.zocca@bruchoufunes.com

It should be noted that the above is a general commentary on the standard and in no way presupposes an advice or opinion in a particular case. In such case, please contact the persons mentioned above.